United university workers and students ‘gained a victory’
SA LIBERATED Public Sector Workers Union representative Abraham Agullas said they had been able to obtain a victory in negotiations with UCT management only by having a united workers union and student front.
Negotiations between the university’s executive management, unions and student representatives ended with all parties agreeing on issues related to catering staff working hours and shift allowances.
While they had reached an agreement on catering workers and staff hours, Agullas said, there was a concern regarding UCT management’s leadership leading up to the agreement.
“It had taken a united workers union and student front, with the threat of a strike, to get all parties to finally come to the table. We started the process five months ago and even went to the CCMA, but we will continue until all workers are earning an equal standard,” said Agullas.
He said while this was a victory for in-sourcing, there were still other issues like bonuses and 13th cheques that needed to be addressed, while executives earned extravagantly.
SRC member Khululwe Mti said the #EndOutsourcing and #FeesMustFall movement had been involved since the beginning of the university protest.
“We support our members and we have been involved in the negotiations process since the beginning.
“There are still student issues that need to be addressed and we hope these negotiations will result in further engagement by the university management,” said Mti.
The university issued a statement by vice-chancellor Max Price which said negotiations continued throughout Wednesday and an agreement was reached that put an end to the threat of strike action.
“The agreement establishes a joint consultative forum and a small special task team on which all recognised trade unions may be represented to tackle any residual issues following the in-sourcing exercise last year.
“If the terms of the agreement can be successfully implemented, it will provide a good example of what can be achieved when parties commit to meeting interests on both sides of the table,” read Price’s statement.